Green IT is on everyone's lips. Processors consume less power, power supplies get 80-plus-certificates and mainboard-manufacturers suddenly advertise the efficiency of their voltage regulators. In the same breath power consumption of graphics cards doesn´t seem to know any limits. The days in which the CPU is the king of power consumption are already past for a while. While the first 3D-accelerators did not even need a heat sink to cool down the chip, nowadays already a passive cooling-solution for a entry-card is a challenge for engineers.
The power consumption of the single components in a (gaming) desktop PC is more and more dependent on the graphics-engine. For dimensioning of the power supply, graphics cards has been evolved to an important factor. For saving electricity it is necessary to pick a model with a low idle-consumption. This facts we used as an opportunity to write an article which only deals with the power consumption of current graphics cards.
The focal point of this article lies on the power consumption of a large number of graphics cards. Additionally we will keep an eye on some factors that influence power consumption. How does the temperature influence power consumption? What about clock-frequency? What happens in case of voltage-changes? Questions we also like to deal with on the following pages.